by Kim Merrill
directed by Alan Souza
originally produced at New Jersey Repertory Company New Jersey Repertory Company ,
Long Branch, New Jersey.
through March 21, 2010
In the nascent days of photography, sitting for a portrait was no mean feat and the art of capturing a photo was physical labor and highly competitive. It was during this time that an ambitious woman, Julia Cameron, went head-to-head with the neurotic Charles Dodgeson, better known as Lewis Caroll. The two were pioneers in the development of this new art form and each sought to become Britain's premiere photographer. Their divergent views and differing esthetics guaranteed a battle royale.The pawn in their battle became Alice and complicating their relationship is the presence of Lord Alfred Tennyson, the poet laureate of Victorian England and perhaps the closest a poet would ever come to being a rock-star.
We feel that this play is important on two levels. First, it presents an archetypal story. Julia Cameron represents in her person the bohemian, free spirit viewed with suspicion, who chafes under convention and searches for an ideal beauty in her landmark photographs. She is countered by the work of Charles Dodgson who is searching for formalism and coherence in his photos. Therefore, in this play we see graphically revealed through the wonderful script and the visual projections the eternal struggle between mind and heart. In addition, this is a strongly language-based play with a heightened language that is becoming more and more rare in our society where there is a fear of the degradation of language as print media give way to film, television and the internet where sound-bites frequently predominate. The theater, being a language-based art form is one of the last bastions for language and “Exposure Time” is a powerful example of this.
Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Shubert Foundation, The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust